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The Dukays (The Dukay Family #2)

4.5 of 5 stars 4.50  ·  rating details  ·  109 ratings  ·  10 reviews
A family pulled apart as tradition meets the changing values and politics of the 20th century. Count Dukay's castles and thousands of acres aren't enough to stem the tides of Nazism, fascism and communism while his sons and daughters are forced to find their way in the strange new world. Historically accurate, filled with universal truths, written with a European flair, Th ...more
Paperback, 816 pages
Published March 20th 2008 by 1500 Books (first published 1947)
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An epic family saga in three novels about Hungary. I guess each country has its books reflecting the social, historical, psychological psyche of the nation. This one, about the rise and decline of an aristocratic Hungarian family, is probably one of the very best, and you don't have to be Hungarian or to have been to Hungary to appreciate it. The portrait Zilahy makes of this family sound stunningly true, and his acid, realistic depiction of its decadence is powerful. Without fake nostalgia nor ...more
Epic in the best possible way. So good.

lentil-colored skirts

Countess Menti, whose pretty name of Klementina was pruned at both ends, like the ears and tail of a Doberman pinscher, to produce her nickname, spoke Hungarian badly.

You cannot frame an apology in more meaningful words. Not because women are vain and foolish, no. But there is nothing lovelier, more dramatic, than a dramatic scene unperformed. Lessing put it this way: "True dialogue is the art of omission." p. 209

We've had news of a de
Jul 25, 2010 Nan added it
I thoroughly enjoyed this book- I picked it up at a flea market- Now I am going to read the rest of the triolgy-
Set in the Europe of the late 1920's and the 1930's, this book tells the story of the children of wealthy Hungarian aristocrat Istvan Dukay: rebel Kristina, business-minded Gyorgy, Janos who becomes intrigued by Fascism, and Zia, who seeks sanctuary in a tiny Italian town when betrayed by her Italian prince husband. The 700 pages of the book is quite a slog; the story lines are interesting, but the author takes perhaps more time to tell each one than is really necessary. He also engages in some ...more
I have completed the A-to- Z Reading Challenge!

It took a while to read this 717-page saga of the Dukay family, one of the last great aristocratic families of Hungary. The story begins in July of 1919 and ends with the onset of World War II in 1939 and relates events in the lives of the Dukay daughters, Kristina and Therezia, with vignettes of other family members.

Historical fiction was once one of my favorite genres; while reading this book, I realized that most of the historical fiction I had
I've read this lengthy novel twice and now I'm even more impressed by it, especially by numerous glimpses of the impossible glory of the age that is passing. The Dukays decries the end of an era in Europe, but it does so with a remarkable lightness and charm giving a thought-provoking picture of the ill-fated Habsburg's brief rule and not much longer life. Zilahy accomplishes this in such a decadent manner with wonderful and lively descriptions of both the interiors and exteriors of the Dukay re ...more
Saga of a Hungarian family but very hard to read. I gave up.
Willy Walsh
This is a wonderful portrait not only of Hungary but of Europe in the early 20th century. Zilahy is erudite and humane. He has a gift for description and evocation. The Dukay daughters are each a study. Kristina is treated less favorably than Zia, the true heroine of this novel, and her self deceptions and conceits are displayed. Zia is someone who will win your allegiance, and before this long saga is over you will be hoping for her happiness. In a book like this delivering such a character is ...more
Edgar Pérez
Disfruté tanto de El Desertor pero este libro no me termina de convencer, claro que me gustaron las descripciones y el declive pero no fue suficiente para mi.
Maja Tomic
Read it too long ago. Just remember that I really liked it.
Ildikó Zsuzsa
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Goodreads Librari...: Combining issues. 14 58 Jan 21, 2013 10:03AM  
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Lajos Zilahy was a Hungarian novelist and playwright. Born in Nagyszalonta (called Salonta in Romania) in Transylvania, then part of the Kingdom of Hungary, an entity of Austria-Hungary, he studied law at the University of Budapest before serving in the Austro-Hungarian army during the First World War, in which he was wounded on the Eastern Front - an experience which later informed his bestsellin ...more
More about Lajos Zilahy...

Other Books in the Series

The Dukay Family (3 books)
  • Century in Scarlet
  • The Angry Angel
Deadly Spring Two Prisoners Something is Drifting on the Water The Angry Angel Century in Scarlet

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“But it was not in Mr. Gruber's nature to look for reasons. That was why he was an ideal secretary. He had been given much fancier assignments in the past. Find out by six in the evening whether Hubermann played any Tschaikovsky after the first intermission of his concert in Brussels last year. Produce a narwhal tusk at least five feet long by eight o'clock Thursday morning. Buy, in your own name, the Domino Motion Picture Theater in Zurich. On Wednesday afternoon between five and six in the Café Meteor in Budapest, slap the face of a character known as Ervin Kugyec. A good secretary does not look for reasons but gets results.” 2 likes
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